Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Chain Snatching
(S02E16) One of the things I like so much about Everybody Hates Chris is that, at least on some levels, I can relate to what Chris goes through: I know what it was to grow up with not a lot of money, and I also know what it was like being one of the unpopular kids in school.
Of course, there are some things about young Chris' life I can't really relate to, such as living in a rough neighborhood. Gold chains have become popular in Chris' neighborhood, and so has "chain snatching," the art of ripping someone's gold chain right off their neck. Malvo returns in this episode, and when he tries to steal a chain from Vanessa (Jackee Harry), Chris warns her. Malvo, a career criminal, is none too happy about it and tells Chris to get him a gold chain by tomorrow.
This episode had some funny moments, but what really stuck out for me was Chris' natural inclination to do what's right. A lot of sitcoms derive their humor from their characters inherent selfishness, but Chris is a genuinely good person, and in a rough neighborhood like his, that's enough to get the snot kicked out of him. When he warns Vanessa of Malvo's intent, he doesn't think about it first, he just blurts it out. The lesson buried within all the funny gags and irreverent cutaways is that doing what's right is not always easy, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. I'll take a show like Chris over the self-centered Seinfeld crew any day.
One final thought: I'd really like to see at least one episode devoted to Chris' mom that doesn't make her look like a raving bitch. I love Rochelle's character, and her tendency to overreact is definitely part of her charm, but I want to see more sides of her personality.